Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 47
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Across the globe, there is an ongoing need for production increases of tangible products.
Opening comments at the World Food Prize 2009 Norman Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines,
Iowa, indicated the world's farmers must double their production of food between now and 2050
if the world's population is to avoid widespread famine. (Law, 2009). With this realization, the
concerns for food security, optimum production, technological innovation and preservation of
environmental functions increase simultaneously. Therefore, ecologists are often investigating
agricultural systems. In fact, over 20% of recent papers in the Journal of Applied Ecology
represent a pre-eminent area of agriculture such as: the effects of pesticides, fertilization,
drainage, crop choices and habitat modifications on farmland organisms and agro-ecosystems
(Ormerod et al., 2003).
Finally, rangeland is of value because it provides important ecological function. A
healthy rangeland ecosystem supports a diverse mixture of plant and animal communities. These
communities promote three key cycles:
* Water cycle-the capture, storage, and redistribution of precipitation;
* Energy flow-conversion of sunlight to plant and animal matter;
* Nutrient cycles-the cycle of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus through the
physical and biotic components of the environment. (USGS, 2002)
Ecologists recognize the need for productive, yet sustainable system. Responsible natural
resource management demands that mankind use resources in a manner that does impede on the
ability of future generations to thrive. Looking for sustainable solutions should involve finding a
cure for the cause of a problem, not reacting to a symptom (White, 2003).
Aldo Leopold (1949) was one of the first to challenge us to live in a manner that did not
spoil the land. Since that time, many have followed his challenge and have generally accepted
the principle that sustainable agriculture seeks to sustain economic viability, environmental
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/58/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .